Jewish Gaza Aid Flotilla Planned

Now a German Jewish organization, Jewish Voice for Peace in the Middle East, is planning an aid flotilla to Gaza! Please send them money.

There are over 250,000 Jews in contemporary Germany, and more Jews immigrated to Germany in 2005 than to Israel. Four-fifths of them are Russian Jews who prefer Berlin to Beersheva. And, there are some Israelis among them who have similar preferences. In further evidence of how Israel can actually be bad for Jews, the Israeli government lobbied Germany in 2004 to restrict Jewish immigration. But there are now more Jews in Germany than there were in 1939 before the Holocaust. (True, there are not more than in the Weimar Republic, but that is where the trend line is going despite Israeli attempts to foment discriminatory immigration policies toward Jews.)

35 Responses

  1. Ooops! I think your second link is broken. Otherwise, awesome news! Let’s see the right-wing Israeli government try to stop this one! I’d also be interested (very!) in seeing how the right-wing Israeli PR machine spins this one.

  2. How they’ll spin it? Isn’t that obvious? They’re “self-hating Jews”. That’s how they’ve spun every criticism from the Jewish community so far. I agree with you, however, that this is great news.

  3. its going to be easier for the gov to intercept this boat and drag it to ashdod, and harass the jewish german activists. in that case, there will be very little protest.
    u mentioned the bizarre request by israel to germany to block jewish immigrants, that’s not very new, in fact it was more bizarre when jews had to flee the eastern block as refugees, and realized they are “transferred” to israel, whether they like it or not. nobody seemed to have interfered back then…
    up till now it has been very convenient for “the enlightened world” to allow israel to “manage” the jews worldwide, perhaps there’s a real change now, namely that people like you realize the jews deserve individual human and civil rights equally.
    the tolerance to israel’s tyrranical methods to its citizens (an extended citizenship to all jews who do not have another door) is troubling, and still is.
    Turkey and even Egypt realized recently that they need to directly address the Israelis and assure them they are not targetted, and that our safety is guaranteed, regardless of our government’s reckless policies and actions.
    Regretfully, the “left”, worldwide, still treats Israelis the same way our government does, as mindless pawns. Especially among north american activists. If you want to make a change, address Mr. Dershowitz.

    Therefore, i will want to see not only how the IDF treats Jewish german activists, but how the world stands up for them, if they are mistreated. I don’t hold my breath though as there has always been very little interest in “inter Jewish” abuses of human rights.

  4. Lets hope the blow of their trumpets brings down the wall of the blockade. BTW, your last sentence, “there are now more Jews in Germany than there were in 1939 before the Holocaust,” is inconsistent with the article you linked at link to odessapage.com

    According to the latter, “250,000 Jews now live in the country … But the numbers are still a far cry from Germany’s flourishing Jewish community of 560,000 – and its cultural and intellectual prominence – before the Third Reich. While Germany contained 600 Jewish schools before the Holocaust, it has only seven now. And in 1933 Berlin’s Jewish community had 120,000 members – 10 times bigger than today.”

  5. .
    The government of Israel could respond by establishing an inspection facility in Limassol, Cyprus, and requiring vessels heading to Gaza Port to get cleared here first.
    .

  6. Your first link says there were 560,000 Jews in Germany “before the Third Reich”, so saying that the present population of 250,000 is larger than the 1939 figure gives a misleading impression about how large the Jewish community is now compared to before the Second World War. Clearly many Jews left between Hitler taking power and the outbreak of war.

  7. the Israeli government lobbied Germany in 2004 to restrict Jewish But there are now more Jews in Germany than there were in 1939 before the Holocaust.

    But still less than in 1933.

  8. “Jewish Voice for Peace in the Middle East, is planning an aid flotilla to Gaza! Please send them money.

    Has the Israeli lobby had this group categorized as a terrorist organization yet? Are you sure we will not be arrested for sending them money?

  9. One minor quibble: My understanding is there were 500,000 Jews in Germany before the Holocaust, which would make it double the admittedly impressive numbers we have now.

  10. I think this is tremendous news, the conscience of the Jewish people has been aroused. Rachel Corrie did not die. Her spirit is growing stronger. I dreamt this would happen many years ago. I knew it would come true.

  11. Dear Prof. Cole:

    With respect, you are in error about the pre-war German-Jewish population. It was around 500,000, not 250,000. [Source: link to ushmm.org

    I’m not certain what your point is in noting the pre-war Jewish population or that some Jews prefer Berlin to Beersheva. As a fact, some Muslims prefer Michigan to Mecca; some Japanese prefer London to Tokyo; I was born in Ohio, but prefer the Boston area to the Cleveland suburbs. (My younger brother remains in Cleveland and loves it.) Ah, the benefits of globalization!

    Your argument about “Israel being bad for Jews” is nullified because of too many counter examples of similar expatriation where the same conclusions might not be drawn. For example, there are an estimated 16 million Muslims living in the EU and many whose roots trace to North Africa. By your logic, one could argue that Algeria, Tunisia or Morocco is “bad for Muslims.” These nations may well be “bad” for some Muslims, but a more likely explanation is that the EU promises economic opportunities unavailable in the countries of origin. Again, global movements of populations–one can be a loyal Mexican but enter the US, earn a living, and contribute in different ways to both societies.

    In short, expatriation is now globally ubiquitous, and I’d be careful before drawing too many conclusions.

    • I remember reading an article about the Russian Jewish population who hated Israel because of the terrible discrimination they were subjected to by other more orthodox (un-Russian) Jews. If you are intent on proving the allegations in the article have no merit then no amount of facts in the world will sway your bias.

    • I do not see your argument. The analogy just does not apply. The North Africans in France did not go there with the aim of evicting the locals through violence – and then claim that the violence was all the fault of the locals. Had the Zionists gone to Palestine, where they were at first welcomed, with the idea of building a sharing community with the locals at a time when they were under the control of first the Ottomans and then the British it might well have been the case that Israel would indeed have been good for Jews worldwide.

      Instead, the Zionists declared Israel to be “The Jewish State” – a home for ALL Jews – to the exclusion, as far as the rest of the world will let them get away with it, of all others. Of course they permit a 20% non-Jewish population just to prove that they are not really that bad – but they will not let it get to 30%. Read the statements of Weizman and ben Gurion. They have persecuted the local inhabitants in totally inhumane ways with the intention to persuade them to leave and when they resisted they have killed them. Thus far they might be seen to be little or no worse than any colonial power in, say, the Americas or Australia – I am not excusing either. However, what came next was a true act of Chutzpah – they blamed the locals for the problems that resulted and by and large persuaded Western Powers to suppor them in this. Certainly in the US and Australia, there is now a recognition of the need to make reparations to the locals. Israel, on the other hand, turns up the pressure.

      The Zionists have done their best to identify “Jewishness” with being Israeli with being Zionist. In particular they attack those who criticize Zionism as anti-semitic. While none of these identifications is accurate, it is not surprising, given the way the Zionists and their apologists frame the debate, that many people make them. The fact that some Jewish groups worldwide are openly opposing the Zionist adventure is wonderful news. There are also many wonderful Israelis who oppose Zionism – let us celebrate their courage and humanity.

  12. they will turn them back as well but this is such exciting news of course no main stream media coverage so far

    • Walter: This is what their website says about donation
      link to juedische-stimme.de

      “Donation

      With your donation you can help the organization in its struggle for peace in the middle east. Thank You!

      Please send your donations to:
      Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost, EJJP Deutschland
      Bank für Sozialwirtschaft
      Konto-Nr.: 1053200
      BLZ: 100 205 00

      Intended Use: For donations exceeding 200 Euro please write your name and full address in the intended use section of the remittance slip. This will allow us to send you a receipt. For donations less than 200 Euro please write “donation” in the intended use section.”

      “…. Die Jüdische Stimme is a non-profit organization … donations and membership fees are tax deductible”

      Their address is
      Jüdische Stimme
      Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte
      Greifswalder Str. 4
      D-10405 Berlin

      I wish it were possible to donate by PayPal.

  13. Apparantly, UNSC Resolution 1860 is Top Secret. A Google News search gets only 93 results. Clearly, members of the US congress and VP Biden are ignorant of it. Since it represents the legal force behind efforts to break the blockade, it might be wise to publicize it. Here is its text and summary of the staements made before and after the vote. The 3 major points germane to the flotillas are:

    “2. Calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment;
    3. Welcomes the initiatives aimed at creating and opening humanitarian corridors and other mechanisms for the sustained delivery of humanitarian aid;
    4. Calls on Member States to support international efforts to alleviate the humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza,”

    Perhaps Dr Cole, you might weave these three points into your narrative on the front page of your blog since many don’t take the effort to read the comments, particularly point #4, which it seems only Turkey takes seriously.

  14. Somewhat related to my previous comment is this June 6 “The 4.45pm Link” observation by Craig Murray:

    “Having followed the media coverage of the Israeli action very carefully, have you noticed what seems a complete absence on TV of bona fide experts in maritime law?
    Normally live news brings in “experts” at the drop of a hat to fill in the 24/7 broadcasting, but despite the fact that professors of international law specialising in the law of the sea are not exactly hard to find, no TV station has asked one about the legality of the Israeli action.

    “That is because the martime law community is unanimous that the Israeli action is illegal.”

    Now imagine what sort of impact on viewers these facts–UNSC 1860 and gross violation of law–would have when provided the same megaphone allowed Zionist Propaganda.

  15. “The government of Israel could respond by establishing an inspection facility in Limassol, Cyprus, and requiring vessels heading to Gaza Port to get cleared here first.”
    …of course then they’d have to declare that Gaza is either occupied or a part of Israel. Otherwise they don’t have a right to clear vessels headed there.

    • .
      Or not.
      This inspection regimen could be set up without any explicit acknowledgment of the reasons for it.
      They may not have any right to do this, but in practical terms it is more satisfactory to me than the possibility of sinking vessels that cannot be stopped.
      .

  16. Prof. Cole:

    I read that Iran may send warships to escort AID ships to Gaza in the coming days in the Singapore Press here. Do you have the latest?

  17. Sounds like a noble effort. Best of success to them. I wish they had set up an easier way to support them financially. No paypal !

  18. The Jews I know and who are my friends in the U.S. are very decent people. They are always considerate of their friends, including me and my family, and they go out of their way to do the right thing by others. They are not religious zealots, they are appalled by some of Israels policies and they certainly do not hate Muslims or anyone else for their religious beliefs, nationality or any other reason.

    They are also a lot more inbiased about other peoples opinions (including mine) than most people who I hear on the internet. Including me.

    Knowing these people as well as I do makes it difficult for me to understand why the Zionists in Israel are doing what they are doing. I just don’t understand it!

  19. This is glorious! The spirit of Buber, Einstein, and the other Jews in the great humanist tradition of Hebraic thought, are embodied in this effort. What a contrast to the racist, proto-fascist Zionism that starves helpless people and persecutes its own dissenters.

  20. I have been looking for a German Jewish voice to protest the destructive behavior of the Israeli Govt and the Gaza Barricade. I have felt isolated in my protests and am thrilled to become a part of this group. As a human rights activist , age 75, I want to join the protest and be pro active. I am a German Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany and committed to defend all abuses to human rights. How do I contact this group directly. Have been to Israel and germany and have felt quite powerless in the face of Israel’s (and the US) military debacle.

  21. Americans still deluded into thinking that the politicians in charge in Israel represent anything remotely connected to American values, a group of German Jews running the Gaza blockade is an eye-opener [Goggle: Jewish Ship to Gaza]. Their description of conditions in Gaza:

    “Gaza is still lying in ruins. Children play on top of heaps of rubble, all that remains of their homes. They have no toys. Their schools have no writing or learning materials. There are long lists of the books they need. They have no warm clothes for the winter, often they have neither gas nor electricity for heating.

    Water is in short supply and is contaminated. Damaged plumbing and drainage systems can’t be repaired. The hospitals are short of medicines, medical equipment, wheelchairs and prosthetics.

    Houses can only be provisionally rebuilt in clay. Essentials for daily survival have to be brought into Gaza through tunnels, often carried by young people who are risking their lives. Soon even these tunnels will be blocked off.

    Through the expropriation of their land and the prohibition on fishing, the people of Gaza are denied their basic means of earning a living.

    They lack freedom, the right to human dignity and our active solidarity.”

    If these Jews find the resources to implement their brave plan, one wonders what will happen. They represent a far more formidable threat to Zionist rightwingers than the Turkish flotilla did. In our world, the fact is that Israelis can murder Muslims without retribution, but German Jews? Will Tel Aviv dare to drop commandos onto a boatload of German Jews under the cover of darkness? Perhaps an “accident” at sea with the support of a well-concealed Israeli submarine would be a more effective response. Or maybe the proper fate for a German Jew so contemptuous of authority as to protest the 21st century’s “Warsaw Ghetto” must obviously be crazy and must be shut away in a psychiatric hospital “for his own safety,” as with Soviet dissidents. Or perhaps Tel Aviv has sufficient muscle to force Germany simply to arrest them all.

    No doubt the American defenders of Zionist racism and militarism, e.g., Lin Cheney and Elliott Abrams, will be calling these German Jews terrorists any time now. For Americans who are neither Likudniks nor empire-builders, for Americans who actually believe in American values, these are the Jews whose values we share.

    In any event, this is a little story of potentially major significance, so keep watching. If these brave Jews make it to Gaza, a very loud statement of what “values” really are will be heard around the world.

    If you care about the kind of world we live in, give them your support.

  22. […] populations have been extinct by the Nazis from these countries during World War II. As Juan Cole recently wrote, there is currently a growing Jewish community in particular in Germany, even larger than during […]

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